OK, so what?
Well, that call back to the land ain't dead--and it can reach corners presumably impervious to the ascetic call. Check out this story about former-NFL player Jason Brown. Obviously his previous occupation helps with certain financial realities, but then that's precisely why he's able to farm differently (something the Catholic rural lifers wanted to do, too):
See, his plan for this farm, which he calls "First Fruits Farm," is to donate the first fruits of every harvest to food pantries. Today it's all five acres--100,000 pounds--of sweet potatoes.
"It's unusual for a grower to grow a crop just to give away," said Rebecca Page, who organizes food collection for the needy. "And that's what Jason has done. And he's planning to do more next year."
Brown has 1,000 acres here, which could go a long way toward eliminating hunger in this neck of North Carolina.
"Love is the most wonderful currency that you can give anyone," said Brown.
Decisions and people like this keep the Gospel's vibrancy and dynamism before our eyes. When we get too comfortable, well, things get mechanical and unloving. Quite frankly I have struggled with this myself over the years. Many of my colleagues--people whose work, scholarship, and sense of humor I have admired--have come to begrudge Catholicism (and really Christianity generally, as G. K. Chesteron observed) for its intrinsic difficulty. It hurts, basically. So we seek and prefer the easy--and then metalwork the Gospel to fit our desires. The consequences bother us NOT because, well, we don't care. Blogger Kevin O'Brien recounts a version of this here. Good stuff--read it.
Meanwhile, Mr. Brown plans his next crop--to grow and give away.